Life At The Beach

By: John Hotson,
Business Transition Alliance Co-Founder

There’s a lot being written about the coming tsunami of Baby Boomer business owners who are about to cash in as they transition out of their business.

Projections of the resulting mountains of cash that will be generated are in the trillions of dollars.

For business owners it comes down to two things:

The timing – is my business saleable at this point?
And the lifestyle – what do I do now?

Our crystal ball is no clearer than anyone else’s when it comes to the if and when of this all happening, but there is one thing we can say with certainty. If owners choose to do nothing about building up their business value today, it will not end happily for them when the transition day finally comes.

Victor Barsoum sells businesses for a living. In his spare time, he is writing a book on how boomers can prepare their business for sale. In this book, he includes his top10 list of things that drive business value – sort of the David Letterman of business brokers. He took us through his list and (spoiler alert) the top three are right out of a business textbook.

Number three is – Create barriers to competitive entry.

Number two is – Build stable and predictable cash flow.

And the number one thing that owners need to do to drive value is…..

Have the right management team in place.

Business 101 – right?

As simple as this sounds, the biggest thing that will enable owners to walk away with the rewards they deserve, may be the hardest thing for them to do…. to get out of their own way!

Owners have built a life around perfecting their business. They’ve survived recessions, interest rate hikes, unfavourable foreign exchange rates, offshore competition, government intervention and more. But the biggest problem they face is continuing to do too much themselves, rather than turning the running of the business over to other qualified people.

There’s an entire industry of professional advisors like Victor currently developing in North America. The industry is built on a simple challenge – how to best help 60-75 year-old business owners out the door to enjoy their happy ending. With the amount of money that is at risk and the numbers of business owners, employees and families’ lives that will be impacted if these transitions fail, the stakes are indeed high.

Victor said it best.

The goal I set for owners is to get their business to the point where they can run it from the beach in Florida. That’s what they have to aim for.

About John Hotson:

John is a seasoned marketing and communications professional and running addict. He has worked as both a business owner and advisor to owners who are committed to improving the value of their business. John is a principal of Clearwater Corporate Communications and a co-founder of The Business Transition Alliance.


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